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If you have diabetes and get a phone call from somebody offering you free diabetes supplies, hang up. You're being scammed.
That's the advice the federal government is giving in a fraud alert it has just made about such calls at http://oig.hhs.gov/newsroom/news-releases/2012/alert20120309.asp.
Scammers often pose as federal employees or workers representing legitimate diabetes associations. They're looking for Medicare and Social Security numbers, as well as other financial information, that they can use fraudulently on their own behalf or sell to criminal syndicates.
Fraudsters that actually do send diabetes supplies send supplies that are inferior in quality, and then turn around and fraudulently bill Medicare for the order. "Free" supplies offered include glucose meters, diabetic test strips, and lancets, as well as such items as heating pads, lift seats, foot aids, or braces.
The government's advice says:
If you get a call from someone you suspect is a scammer, call the government's fraud hotline at 1-800-HHS-TIPS or file a report online at http://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/report-fraud/index.asp.
Diabetes Health is the essential resource for people living with diabetes- both newly diagnosed and experienced as well as the professionals who care for them. We provide balanced expert news and information on living healthfully with diabetes. Each issue includes cutting-edge editorial coverage of new products, research, treatment options, and meaningful lifestyle issues.